Digital Catalogues: Engaging Your Customers
One of the most important considerations for serious consumer marketers these days is User Experience (UX).

 Your customers understand your brand and its values via various touch points - advertising, store design, customer service and, if you are a consumer marketer, your catalogue.

Consumer catalogues have a long tradition, and the practice and execution of them is well known...for print.

But now the move is to digital distribution and the User Experience of a print catalogue, no matter how well produced, does not translate well into the digital realm.

Expectations of attention, the browsing experience and the call to action are all completely different in print compared to digital.

 Many marketers settle for simply uploading their existing print catalogue in PDF format to a page viewer or 'flip book'.

Whilst this might be expedient it is a second best solution, the recent study "One Face to the Customer: A Evaluation of Retailers Digital Touchpoints" looked in-depth at retailers' digital catalogues.

"Digital catalogs have the opportunity to be so much more than static images of productsin a lifestyle context - they have the opportunity to engage and interact with consumers, and become a digital channel in their own right."

Taking the easy option can seriously damage your brand, especially when your competitors seize the opportunity.

Result: they look good and you play catch-up.

Every media format has it's strong and weak points.

We've all seen very compelling  and memorable Powerpoint presentations - full of sound and movement and a lot of information.

But no matter how great a presentation it would make a terrible TVC.

Form and content need to work together if a great UX is to be had and the customer engaged. Layering of information, choices in navigation, inclusion of rich media such as video - all go towards making a memorable experience.

And memorable experiences get shared!

PDFversions of catalogues are neither fish nor fowl.

They have none of the tactile feel of a print catalogue nor the visual excitement and engagement of a purpose-built digital catalogue.

On the measurement side, marketers now more than ever demand in-depth information about how their multi-channel endeavours are performing. Analytics such as time spent in the publication, pages viewed, percentage of pages viewed and re-engagement.

This kind of information is sadly lacking in re-purposed media.

It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy; the second best solution delivers second best results.

Customers sense quality ... and respond to it!

Could you imagine Apple releasing a second best product? Think of the harm that action would do to their brand.

So if you are a consumer marketer, why would you not, in the words of Steve Jobs, be 'insanely great'?

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